Washington, D.C. 10/22/11 ---
In an address that lasted about seven minutes, President Obama announced the impending end of the nearly-nine year war in Iraq.
Over the next two months, our troops -- tens of thousands of them -- will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. It means about 39-thousand troops will leave Iraq by the end of December.
The U.S. had expected thousands of soldiers would stay to help Iraq security, but a senior military official tells CNN talks broke down when iraq wouldn't guarantee the troops legal immunity.
President Obama says troops will leave with heads held high, proud of their success. The United States is moving forward from a position of strength. Friday's announcement comes more than eight years after then-President Bush stood under a "mission accomplished" banner.
"In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed".
The White House would not make comparisons between the Bush and Obama statements. President Obama says the U.S. will continue to discuss how it might help Iraq train its forces. He says the U.S. has an interest in an Iraq that's stable and self-reliant, even after American troops go home.